As just reported in the Wall Street Journal: New Zealand will ban military-style semiautomatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, stepping up its response to Friday’s slaughter of 50 worshipers at two Christchurch mosques by a lone shooter. Shooter Brenton Tarrant held a valid gun license, but the weapons used in the terrorist attack included semiautomatic rifles that had been illegally upgraded with higher-capacity magazines to enable 30 bullets or more to be fired without reloading. His license restricted his magazine capacity to seven bullets. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her government would also pay cash to gun owners who surrender their weapons in a nationwide amnesty. The proposed changes, which include an immediate modification to license classifications, have the unanimous support of her inner circle of lawmakers. The ban is expected to take effect in three weeks. New Zealand’s response mirrors the tightening of regulations that took place more than two decades ago in Australia, where semiautomatic weapons were banned following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre that left 35 dead. The Australian-born shooter, 28, is in custody after being charged with one count of murder. Police say more charges are likely to follow. He hasn’t entered a plea. There are between 1.2 million and 1.5 million guns in circulation in New Zealand, police estimates show, according to Gunpolicy.org, an online database of gun crimes and laws hosted by the University of Sydney. Those estimates are unlikely to include guns traded illegally. About 242,000 people out of a population of more than 4.5 million held a firearm license as of 2015, according to a report prepared for lawmakers. There is no doubt that the criminal actions of one person were horrific. Much has been said about that on another thread, all of which I second. But he was just that - a criminal, who had already violated the law with respect to the weapons he possessed. The only impact of bans, as many have said, is to disarm law-abiding citizens, while criminals will continue to flaunt the law. Murder has been against the law since time began, yet that did not deter this individual. Why do politicians think that "banning" certain types of guns will result in persons prepared to commit murder suddenly getting a conscience? Those of us who live in what we call a "parliamentary democracy" are at serious risk of these types of emotional responses to terrible events, simply because the ruling party controls both the executive and the legislative branch and can pass laws at will.